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The Benchmarks in modern languages provide clarity on the national standards expected from first to fourth curricular level. They draw together and streamline a wide range of previous assessment guidance (including significant aspects of learning, progression frameworks and annotated exemplars) into one key resource to support teachers’ and other practitioners’ professional judgement of children’s and young people’s progress. The Benchmarks will also support consistency in teachers’ professional judgements and will help teachers to ensure that young people achieve the pace of progress they need right across the Broad General Education. The Benchmarks can be accessed on Education Scotland's National Improvement Hub along with Benchmarks exemplification to support practitioners to use the Benchmarks.
Modern Languages are within the Languages area of the curriculum.
Essential reading for Modern Language practitioners can be found on the Curriculum for Excellence - Modern Languages pages from Education Scotland.
You can also download SCILT's Experiences and Outcomes foldout leaflet for Modern Languages (2015).
Further information on the Languages area of the curriculum can be found on the Curriculum for Excellence - Languages.
Modern Languages Experiences and Outcomes (above) list the tasks that pupils should be able to achieve by end of P7 (Second Level).
In addition, the Modern Languages: Principles and Practice paper (above), states the following on page 3:
'As teachers use these statements of experiences and outcomes to support their planning, by the end of Primary 7, the majority of children will have learned the skills necessary to:
For an overall view of the entitlements of children and young people in Curriculum for Excellence, please read the document Building the Curriculum 3 (Education Scotland).
Curriculum for Excellence specifically refers to young people 'developing a knowledge and understanding of the world and Scotland’s place in it'.
The following documents are relevant to the 1+2 policy in Primary:
Education Scotland, (July 2016)
These tools are aimed at primary and secondary practitioners and will help practitioners to gauge whether their proposals fulfil the criteria to provide a suitable L3 experience.
This is a suite of advice, frameworks and resources to support primary teachers to plan for depth and progression in modern language learning experiences. These resources were developed in conjunction with primary practitioners who deliver L2 and L3 experiences.
This resource is for primary practitioners engaged in delivering modern languages as an L2 or L3 experience. It should be used in conjunction with the Significant Aspects of Learning in modern languages. This resource supplements the advice in the modern languages Principles and Practice paper. It supports practitioners in evaluating effectively children’s progress in language learning.
Education Scotland, Education Scotland (March 2015)
These First Level Experiences and Outcomes will allow practitioners delivering languages as part of the Scottish Government 1+2 policy to benchmark learners’ progress in the skills of listening and talking, reading and writing.
Education Scotland have published a PowerPoint to support the reflection on and engagement with the newly updated Experiences and Outcomes, which can also be accessed through the link below.
Education Scotland, Education Scotland (February 2015)
This document provides guidance on the second additional language (L3) to be introduced by P5 by the latest, as a key element of the 1+2 policy. Learning a further language will give additional opportunities to build on children’s literacy skills so that they develop a greater understanding of how language works.
Education Scotland, Education Scotland (July 2014)
1+2 clarification and recommendations for schools and EAs. July 2014 update.
This paper provides an amendment to Recommendation 8 of the 1+2 report on continuity of L2 and L3 from P5-P7 into S1.
This document provides further guidance for practitioners who are planning learning and teaching from P1 to P7. It includes suggested approaches to learning and teaching, including approaches to Knowledge about Language at each primary stage.
Education Scotland, Education Scotland (December 2013)
This online guidance features a zip file at the bottom of the landing page which includes a document outlining first steps to embedding additional language learning in the curriculum. Though badged for P1, this guidance is suitable for any teacher who is embarking on teaching a language for the first time or any class starting to learn a language for the first time, regardless of stage.
The videos from this resources can be viewed on YouTube.
Following on from recommendations made in 'A 1+2 Approach to Language Learning', the first of the primary pilots began in November 2012. Plans and materials used by four of the pilot primary schools during their projects are now available. All of these resources are downloadable and can be used and adapted as necessary.
Access the plans and further materials from the primary pilots.
More information on all the pilot projects, including evaluation reports from Education Scotland, is available from the Implementation page.
Planning and guidance documents, film clips and audio files to support the teaching of primary languages have been collected into two main resources. The online resource on the Education Scotland relates to first steps in primary languages while the resource on the National Improvement Hub concentrates on progression in primary language learning.
The Education Scotland resource includes vocabulary lists of simple, useful classroom language with associated audio files, guidance on progression in grammar and knowledge about learning, interdisciplinary learning maps illustrating possibilities for contextualised language learning for pupils. Film clips of language learning in action with early years and beginner language learners are available.
The National Improvement Hub resource includes guidance documents and reflective questions related to progression in primary languages. This resource also includes interdisciplinary learning maps and film clips of language learning in action as well as short teacher interviews.
Other resources recently developed to support primary language learning:
European Commission, European Commission (Last updated: 16 January 2013; Last viewed: 26 February 2013)
Good practice guidelines from the European Commission.
Teresa Tinsley, Therese Comfort, CfBT (2012)
An evidence base on language learning within various primary curricula across the world. Part 1 of the report reviews international research and development in early language learning, presenting evidence on the benefits of starting foreign language learning in primary school or earlier. Part 2 focuses on the issues and challenges common to all education systems that need to be addressed if primary language teaching is to be a success.
Key points include:
Research evidence on early language learning
Scottish Government, Scottish Government (2011)
Key messages on languages:
ELLiE, European Commission (January 2011)
ELLiE is a study of the introduction of second language learning in primary school classrooms in seven European countries. The study was set up in response to the rapid expansion of early language learning in Europe. The study aims to clarify what can realistically be achieved in European classrooms where limited amounts of curriculum time are allocated to second language learning. Included in the study are schools from Croatia, England, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden.
Factors contributing to children's success in learning languages include:
The teacher‘s role is highly significant for young children, including:
Goethe Institut, Goethe Institut (Revised edition: 2010)
Revision of the Nuremberg Recommendations for Early Foreign Language Learning which presents a contemporary perspective on the intricate web of factors involved in early foreign language learning, with the aim of showing both potential and needs of a four to ten-year-old child during learning. This publication is addressed to all who work in the field of early foreign language teaching, decision-makers, school head teachers, those working in continuing professional development and extended education, serving and trainee teachers and early years practitioners, as well as students. Its intended readership also includes parents and other actors within the various contexts in which children grow up.
SCILT has extracted the key recommendations from this report.
European Commission, European Commission (2009)
An overview of early language learning in Europe and answers some of the questions most frequently asked on language learning in the early years. Scroll halfway down the page to access these.
Languages in the Primary School - information on the current picture in Scotland
National survey of modern language provision in Scottish schools (August 2011): Summary of findings -
To access the results for Secondary Schools, visit the National survey pages of our website.
Language learning at pre-primary level (EC Policy Handbook)
An European Commision group of national experts on early language learning produced a policy handbook summarising the group's work and discussions and a document highlighting good practice in early language learning from across Europe. Scroll to end of pa
Nuremberg Recommendations for Early Foreign Language Learning (Revised Edition)
The Nuremberg Recommendations for Early Foreign Language Learning (Revised Edition), published by the Goethe Institut in 1996 in collaboration with a large number of experts from 22 countries worldwide, were drawn up with the objective of placing early fo
Early Language Learning in Europe (British Council)
ELLiE is a study of the introduction of second language learning in primary school classrooms in seven European countries. The study has been set up in response to the rapid expansion of early languages learning in Europe. The study aims to clarify what c
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